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Optimal Income Taxation, Public-Goods Provision and Public-Sector Pricing: A Contribution to the Foundations of Public Economics

  • Martin Hellwig


    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, Germany)

The paper develops an integrated model of optimal nonlinear income taxation, public-goods provision and pricing in a large economy. With asymmetric information about labour productivities and publicgoods preferences, the multidimensional mechanism design problem becomes tractable by requiring renegotiation proofness of the final allocation of private goods and admission tickets for excludable public goods. Under an affiliation assumption on the underlying distribution, optimal income taxation, public-goods provision and admission fees have the same qualitative properties as in unidimensional models. These properties are obtained for utilitarian welfare maximization and for a Ramsey-Boiteux formulation with interim participation constraints.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2004_14.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2004_14
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  3. Martin Hellwig, 2008. "A Maximum Principle for Control Problems with Monotonicity Constraints," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_04, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2005. "The Role of Prices for Excludable Public Goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 61-79, January.
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  6. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: The Design of the Tax Structure Revisted," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 781-99, August.
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  8. Schmitz, Patrick W, 1997. "Monopolistic Provision of Excludable Public Goods under Private Information," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 52(1), pages 89-101.
  9. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2002. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 391749000000000449,
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  12. Hellwig, Martin, 2003. "A Utilitarian Approach to the Provision and Pricing of Excludable Public Goods," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-36, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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  24. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
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  26. Hammond, Peter J, 1987. "Markets as Constraints: Multilateral Incentive Compatibility in Continuum Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 399-412, July.
  27. Christiansen, Vidar, 1981. "Evaluation of Public Projects under Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 447-57, July.
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